Citing Statcast, Lynn hits lefty for first time

Cards hurler 0-for-2, but says launch angle, exit velocity 'way better' than right side

July 4th, 2017

ST. LOUIS -- A day after hit a crucial two-run single in the Cardinals' win over the Marlins, fellow starting pitcher was looking to jump-start his own offensive production. In Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Marlins, Lynn tried hitting left-handed for the first time in his Major League career.
"He has been frustrated at his ability to hit right-handed and so with that he's been practicing for the last couple weeks on his left-handed swing and it actually looks good," Matheny said before Tuesday's game. "The bunting, the swinging, everything you'll see today."
Lynn, who gave up four runs (two earned) and took the loss, went 0-for-2 before being lifted in the sixth. He hit a bunt that resulted in an out at second base and grounded out in the fifth.
Lynn is hitting .071 (2-for-28) with no RBIs. In his career, he's hit .085 (21-for-246) with five RBIs. Part of his frustrations have come from not having a high enough launch angle.
"In the cage, my launch angle and exit velocities are way better left-handed," Lynn said. "So I went with it."
Of the 13 times Lynn's made contact this year (excluding bunts), his average launch angle is zero. Two years ago, when Lynn had the highest average of his career (.160), his launch angle, also excluding bunts, averaged 13.6 degrees.
The Cardinals hope the change may help provide a spark, and although this is the first time Matheny can remember a pitcher he's worked with making this kind of switch, he has seen it make a positive difference for Lynn. He took some left-handed swings while growing up and said he began to test it again in 2011, practicing it in the cage somewhat often since then.
"Actually bunting, I was surprised how much better he looked, which really that's what we're going to ask him to do more often," Matheny said "It's amazing, you look at the stats when a pitcher does something offensively to contribute how that helps and what the odds are of the team's success. They go up considerably."
Medical report
was not in the starting lineup Tuesday after exiting Monday's game early with what was originally described as left leg cramping, but is a small tweak in his left groin. He left in the fifth, and while he doesn't know exactly when it took place, he thinks it was most likely during a swing in his at-bat in the third.
While there is no definite timetable for his return, he is hoping to start Wednesday.
"It feels pretty good today," Gyorko said. "Hopefully, obviously not in there today, but try to get back in there [Wednesday]."
is making progress in his recovery from the right-triceps strain that landed him on the 10-day disabled list. He will travel to Double-A Springfield and make five starts there due to Triple-A Memphis being on the road over that time period. If all goes according to plan, Wong would be back with the Cards after the All-Star break.
Lefty pitcher Zach Duke moved his rehab assignment Tuesday from the Gulf Coast League Cardinals to Class A Advanced Palm Beach. He had two scoreless outings with Gulf Coast.
Minor matters
• In his first three games since being sent down to Memphis, is 3-for-11 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs. He is expected to remain in Memphis at least through the All-Star break.
• Second baseman Darren Seferina earned Florida State League Player of the Week honors after hitting .526/.654/.895 for Palm Beach last week. In six games, Seferina tallied 10 hits, drove in four, scored five runs and swiped four bases.
• Memphis outfielder Harrison Bader entered Tuesday with a seven-game hitting streak. During that stretch, Bader, the Cards' No. 6 prospect per, is 11-for-26 with two doubles, a triple, two homers, seven runs and seven RBIs.